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A second longer

One more thought on silent listening: Silence has an interesting effect on the unspoken. Stay silent in a conversation a little longer and the other person will often reveal more than they meant to.

Ask a question, let them explain. Then stay silent.

Usually, you’d chime in with your own thoughts. But this time you don’t.

You create an empty space.

Almost certainly the other person will feel the need to fill the silence.

They will start sharing more than they planned — a reason they had held back previously, a constraint they didn’t consider important at first sight, perhaps even a feeling.

They might even reveal their true thoughts, intentions, and even worries that they would have kept hidden otherwise.

The interesting part is that the silence is way shorter than you think. It only feels long. But often, a single second is all it takes for you to gain valuable insights and a clearer understanding of what’s really going on.

More information means (potentially) better decisions. But it also shows that you value what the other person has to say, which builds trust and respect.

A single second of silence, perhaps two, can make a big difference.

Sometimes, the right words are no words.

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